It seems like there’s always a new health craze more disgusting than the last. There is the juice cleanse involving lemon and cayenne pepper (still gross, even if Beyoncé does it), chia seed pudding (that will never count as dessert), and placenta-enriched food.
Turns out, you’ve been doing the ‘healthy thing’ all wrong. Unless you’ve been drinking cockroach milk.
Yes, science has reared its ugly head yet again to teach us things we aren’t ready to hear. Researchers found that the Pacific Beetle Cockroach feeds its young a formula that is incredibly rich in fat, sugar, and protein. However, it’s not exactly designed to pour on cereal— the formula actually the takes the form of protein crystals in the gut of baby cockroaches.
“Any liquid harvested from a cockroach is not true milk. At least not as we think of it,” Becky Facer, director of school and educator programs at Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta told CNN.
Does anyone else feel slightly queasy thinking about harvesting liquids from cockroaches?
Gross as it sounds, the ‘cockroach milk’ has the potential to be the next big craze.
According to Leonard Chavas, an author of the research published in the journal International Union of Crystallography, the crystals have three times the energy of buffalo milk and four times the energy of cow’s milk.
“The interest here was, what is it really made of?” Chavas said.
So, they extracted the crystals to learn about the potential nutrition.
After a series of tests and genome sequencing, they discovered that the formula is a complete food. Yeah, kind of like avocados.
“It is what one would need: protein, essential amino acids, lipids and sugars,” he said. And the health benefits are reflected in the Pacific Beetle Cockroach’s growth: infants grow much larger than other types of cockroaches.
And yes, these crystals have the potential for human consumption, according to the research.
All this info begs the question: how does one milk a cockroach?
So far, researchers are extracting crystals from the midgut of cockroach embryos. Not exactly something you can do at home. However, they are hoping to eventually reverse bioengineer the formula. “For now, we are trying to understand how to control this phenomena in a much easier way, to bring it to mass production,” Chavas said.
And (get ready for the best part of this story) Chavas once tasted the cockroach milk after losing a drinking game with his coworkers. Apparently, it has “no particular taste” although he’d like to create an ice creamy- flavor… “with honey and crispy pieces.”
Who knows, maybe we’ll be dipping our Oreos in cockroach milk in the future.